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Dear friends- The holiday season is around the corner and the holiday fever is catching up in my household as well. Just wanted to let you know that I will be taking a little time off during the holiday (a well deserved one as hubs tells me :). Will surely see you in a little bit.
hewing the Betel leaf or Paan, as it is called in Hindi, loaded with fragrant and flavorful fruit, herb and spice mixes, is the ubiquitous mouth freshener in the Indian sub-continent. If you think chewing gum is the most common form of freshening up your mouth, think again. Now I am no historian but the tradition of chewing the leaf has existed in the culture since the beginning of recorded history and is very much prevalent still in the modern age. To give you an idea, I do not think there is any public street in India where within five minutes you could not walk up to a little stall right on the side of the street selling this delight. This post would be incomplete without giving you a little description of that ever-present 'paan-dukaan'. A little makeshift stall made of plywood, roofing sheets and any other material nailed together to make a box like structure and propped up on four wooden legs, sometimes as small as five by five feet with a person barely managing to sit inside with a small counter in front of him. You walk up and ask him or her for the kind of flavoring you want and lo and behold within a matter of seconds he is ready with your instant gratification. In some places you pay as little as five rupees (a dime, no kidding) for a serving and walk away.